Friday, March 25, 2005

Tere Bin

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Presenting Rabbi Shergill”
And then the singer started crooning a number amidst large applause.

Tere Bin
Sanu Sohnia
Koi Hor
Nahio Labna

Somewhere in the crowd she heard the song. Thinking. Remembering. The song had a trance effect on her and she suddenly was in the back of a car, in a far away town, sitting holding his hands, as the driver drove.
They had met just a few days back and since then it seemed life had been a roller-coaster. So near yet so far.
Once on their way back, as they sat on the back seat of the car, the same song played.
“I love this song, it has beautiful lyrics”, he said.
“I don’t understand Punjabi, what does it mean?”
“It has beautiful romantic lyrics. I will translate it for you. It says, without you oh my love, I wouldn’t find anybody else. Someone who gives peace to my soul, and who can indulge me”
“Its beautiful”
She put her hand on his. His fingers slightly moved over hers. They hadn’t ever held hands. He put the bag on his knees and their inter-twined hands behind it, lest the driver would see.
“Tell me the whole meaning of the song. I want to feel the song.”
Jiven Rukia Si Tun Zara
Nahion Bhulna Main Saari Umar
Jiven Akhia Si Akhan Chura
Rovenga Sanu Yaad Kar

”I still remember the way you had stopped. I would not forget it ever in my life. The way you had told me, someday you would remember me and cry.”
She held his hands tight. They looked at each other, and then she closed her eyes. He looked out of the window.
He was fast becoming unsure. May be things were moving a bit too fast. May be…He didn’t know.
Hasia Si Main Hasa Ajeeb
Tu Nahi Si Hasia
Dil Vich Tere Jo Raaz Si
Mainu Tu Kyoun Ni Dasia

Tere Bin Sanu Eh Raaz
Kisi Hor Nahio Dasna
Tere Bin Peer Da Ilaaj
Kis Vaid Kolon Labna

”I had laughed a strange laugh, but you hadn’t laughed. There was a secret in your heart, which you didn’t tell me. Without you, who would tell me this secret. Without you, who would cure me of this.”
A tear ran down her eye. She held his hand tight. And looked at him. He was looking out of the window. He couldn’t look into her eyes.
The car stopped. She had to board the bus from here on. They walked to the bus, hand in hand. She booked her luggage. His arm around her, he hugged her. She had tears in her eyes. He was stoic.
The bus was about to leave. She settled down on her seat and looked out at him. Her out stretched hand on the closed window. Tears down her cheeks. He didn’t speak. But mouthed the words, “I am sorry.” And he moved away.
She looked at her out stretched palm on the window, and pushed it back down. May be he was right. Things couldn’t work out between them. She closed her eyes and cried.

“Hey, why are you crying. Do you know Punjabi?”
She was suddenly back at the concert with her colleagues.
“Nah, don’t know. Sorry. Lets go from here”
They moved. And she looked back at the singer. Wiping her tears she moved ahead. Tere Bin…..

Saturday, January 29, 2005

It only happens in the movies

He was confused. Walking down the stairs of the town hall, hands tucked in his pockets, his face covered with woolen scarf, saving him from the winter chill. The scene had a definitive murkiness to itself. Was it his state of mind or was it for real? He tried to re-collect what had happened.
It was so surreal.
While sifting through the rubble in an archeological site located just north of this sleepy little town, he had stumbled upon a strange box. It was covered with mud. But that didn’t hide the intricate carvings on the box. There were inscriptions which he couldn’t decipher. He wondered how such an obvious object could not catch the eye of professional archeologists.
He picked up the box and cleaned it. The inscriptions were in what seemed like a mix of small and bigger lines. Curious, he opened the box. The latch was hard. It was not opening. He applied a little more pressure and the latch clicked. The click sound was so loud that it echoed all around him. Suddenly he was afraid. He had seen The Mummy last week on HBO. And the thought of uncovering such a box was bringing him mixed emotions of joy and dread.
Temptation got the better of him. He held the latch and opened the box. To his amusement, inside the box was a film roll negative. There wasn’t much sunlight so he couldn’t gather what was the roll all about. But it seemed strange to find a film roll after going through the emotions of temptation and dread. May be the Mummy happened only in the movies.
He took the roll and drove back to a photo studio. The place was owned by a friend, who allowed him to use the lab. He got down to developing the roll. In the red light of the dark room, he saw the photographs developing.
He suddenly caught the table for support. An all of sudden dread had gripped him. The pictures had him lying on the floor in front of the town-hall, covered all in blood. Just at the foot of the stairs his body lay, shredded with bullets.
He was confused. Was this some kind of a joke? Fate was playing a joke on him. He had heard of storied of Abraham Lincoln knowing of his death before hand. But how could this be. He was just an ordinary man. Yes, he had been cruel in some ways. But what was this?
He tried looking for more in the pictures. There was a car. A familiar face looking out of the window. Was she going kill him? Yes, they had problems, but why would she kill him. In an instant he realized it was her friend who was instigating here. He had ignored him. People had told him she was having an affair. He had ignored. He loved her despite the problems.
He looked closer. Her friend was also there. He was crouched in front of him, as if hiding something. May be the gun!!
He fell back on the chair in the red light draped lab. He was supposed to be at the town hall in an hour. He would kill them before they did him. He had always been a winner. He would prove this to be a joke.
He checked his gun and walked out.
He drove his car to the town hall. Before stepping out, he checked the bullets. He would kill them before they did him.
He went in and finished his work. And then came the time he was waiting for.

He was confused. Walking down the stairs of the town hall, hands tucked in his
pockets, his face covered with woolen scarf, saving him from the winter chill. The scene had a definitive murkiness to itself. Was it his state of mind or was it for real?

He saw him standing at the foot of the stairs. She was in the car. Looking out. Hiding her face. He walked as if not noticing her. He pushed the safety latch of his gun. Walked to him and pulled the gun on his face. The man seemed to be speechless. Suddenly something hit him in the leg. He pressed the trigger.
As if in slow motion, at the same instant one of the guards saw this man pull out a gun on the Mayor. He did what he was taught to do. He pulled the safety and in an instant opened fire. Hitting the man in the legs first. As he opened fire, he slipped. And the shot went awry. It hit the assassin in chest. The man fell down.
The guard moved fast to secure the Mayor. He was also lying on the ground. He turned the mayor around. He had been shot in the shoulder. He was safe. A woman came running out of a car. And crouched at the dead assassin. Other guards also came in to secure the location. Meanwhile he walked to the dead assassin; there were some photographs on the ground near the body. He picked one and fell back at what he saw.
It had him standing over the body of the assassin looking at the picture.